You Can’t Spin on an Empty Stomach

I would never classify myself as a “football fan”. Sure, it’s interesting. Sure, there are cute boys running around in tight pants. Sure, miracles can happen. But to religiously tune in Monday, Thursday and veg out in front of the TV ALL DAY on Sunday….c’mon people. It’s not like it’s Outlander.


If I can be real with you for a minute, I used to have this deep seated hatred for all things football. This happened after a traumatic freshman year with an extremely pretentious & sadistic PE teacher who loved to assign homework during Thanksgiving holidays. She required us to watch a football game and record the scores and write a detailed account of how many passes were made or how many yards so and so ran. I mean, that bitch was crazy. I was lucky enough to have a cool step dad who let me watch the game with him and badger him with millions of questions (thanks Bing!). I forgot to have a parent sign it when I turned it in so she ended up calling him at work to verify I indeed watched a football game. Damn harpie.

Fast forward some some time, and I have been married to a football fanatic for 10 years. This means once September rolls around I know I’m pretty much on my own for weekend excursions. I still dislike football but because he loves it so and I love him so, I tolerate football thangs in my life. There are the rare occasions where I find football enriching my life in some way. About two weeks ago we finished the documentary “All or Nothing: A Season with the Arizona Cardinals” on Amazon Prime and I was thoroughly impressed with the whole thing. It did a great job of showcasing different aspects of the players’ lives and how much work everyone involved puts in. We only see them playing in a game for 3 hours at a time, but behind the scenes  it is constant and consistent work. I can dig it.

Though it was all enjoyable, the highlight of it all  was from episode six when Dwight Freeney cooks the most amazing chicken dish I’ve ever seen. I knew straight away I needed that in my life.


After some minor investigation, I found his recipe, though it was clearly missing this browning sauce Freeney is using.



I’ve made this quite a few times since discovering it and have changed it a teeny tiny bit to suit my taste buds, but you won’t go wrong with either version.

Freeney Chicken

Adapted from here

  • Chicken drumsticks, 8*
  • Red bell pepper, sliced
  • Yellow bell pepper, sliced
  • Garlic, sliced, 3 cloves
  • White onion, sliced
  • Green onion, one bunch, sliced
  • Garlic salt, 1.5 teaspoons
  • Fresh black pepper, 1 teaspoon
  • Thyme, dried, 1 teaspoon
  • Browning sauce, 1 teaspoon
  • Canola oil
  • Chicken stock, 1 cup
  • Water, 1 cup
  • Beef base, 2 t
  • Stewed tomatoes, 14 oz can
  • All Purpose flour, 3 Tablespoons
  • Soy sauce, 1 teaspoon
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

The night before you plan on cooking, in a large bowl, toss : chicken, peppers, garlic, browning sauce and white onions. Give it a good stir with your hands. Combine garlic salt, pepper and thyme then sprinkle over chicken and veg mixture, while lightly massaging in with fingertips. Place in fridge for 8-24 hours.

In a shallow pan heat canola oil over medium high heat. I used enough just so that the chicken was covered, about 3 inches up the side. How much you will need depends on how shallow of a pan is used. Fry chicken 4 minutes on each side, working in two batches.


When turning, take extra care to not burn yourself because the skin can stick to the bottom of the skillet a little (since it’s not breaded), and when this happen just try to get under the skin with the tongs instead of pulling up on the meat. After 8 minutes, place in a deep stock pot. Pour off almost all your oil and set aside.


To the chicken pot add chicken stock and stewed tomatoes. Cover and set over a burner at medium low heat and simmer 30 minutes.


To the frying pan (which now has about a Tablespoon of oil), fry the marinated veggies for 45 seconds. Set aside.


From the frying oil that you set aside, add 3 Tablespoons back to the pan and sprinkle with flour. Set to the lowest setting you can muster and cook this for 20 minutes, stirring every five minutes or so. Combine hot water with beef base and add to the pan. Cook this another 10 minutes, whisking constantly. Add soy sauce and small amounts of salt and pepper until it achieves your tongue’s saltiness satisfaction level.


Add the veg and gravy into the chicken pot and gently stir, trying not to rip the meat of the bone or crush the vegetables. Turn off the heat and stir in the green onions.


*I’ve tried this with a whole cut up chicken before and breast meat just does not work with this recipe. Save yourself the grief and just use the legs!!!!




Good luck today with the new team, Dwight!





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